6 Essential Steps To Take After A Car Accident In California
After a car accident, there's so much you need to consider. On top of your physical well-being, you also need to look out for medical expenses, mental consequences, and possible legal actions. A lot of these have bearings even immediately after the crash, so you need to be ready to make your recovery process as smooth as possible.
If you've been in a car accident in California, our car accident guide may be able to help and guide you in determining your next steps. These safeguards can help you protect your health and safety while bolstering your legal case if you want to court.
1. Get medical help as soon as possible
Even when you don't feel like you sustained any injuries from the crash, you should seek emergency help as soon as possible. Some fractures and bruisings aren't always immediately apparent, so the best way to do so would be to find a medical professional to look over your current condition.
Additionally, you want any injuries to be included in medical records. Having them on record will make finding evidence of the injuries easier for possible insurance and personal injury claims.
Remember: Waiting for a few days might lead to some of your injuries healing, which will make it harder to prove the severity of the losses you sustained in the crash.
2. Fill out a police report
Speaking of keeping documentation, don't forget to file out a police report of the incident. This will be another way to preserve the accounts of the accident, which will come in handy when you need it as evidence.
After some time, these police reports will be publicly available. You can obtain a copy from the police department or ask your Personal Injury Attorney to get one for you.
Remember: Once you have your copy, make sure to look over the details of the report. Spot any inaccuracies and omitted details.
3. Obtain information from the others involved
Obtain the other driver's insurance information, name, as well as their driver's license number. Doing this will make it easier for you to contact their insurance provider. And, if you do need to file a Personal Injury Claim, having the other driver's details will make it easier for your California Personal Injury Lawyer to investigate your claim.
Don't forget to obtain the names, phone numbers, and other contact information of all witnesses. When it comes time to file your Personal Injury Claim, their testimony will come in handy.
4. Take photos of the scene
This is another way to keep documentation of the accident. Take pictures of damaged property, your injuries, road signs, road conditions, the other person's car, or anything that you think is relevant to the accident.
You'll never know if a third-party investigation misses or omits something in their reports.
Remember: These might help your California Car Accident Attorney as they seek out evidence themselves.
5. Don't negotiate with insurance firms yourself
Here's an unfortunate truth: insurance firms, at the end of the day, are a business.
It is in their best interest to give you as little payout as possible, which is how they preserve their profits. To do so, they might try to trivialize the severity of your injuries, lie about the scene of the accident, or shift some of the blame to you.
Most people who have been in a car crash before know that it is a stressful time. Victims still have to worry about their health and expenses on top of a possible insurance payout dispute. Sometimes, victims will accept unfairly low payout just to get it over with.
Instead of falling into this trap, have a California Car Accident Attorney negotiate the terms for you. Sometimes having an attorney send the insurance firm an appeal letter is enough to move them to negotiate better payouts.
6. Don't post about the car crash on social media
Nobody, including an insurance provider, should know about the specific details of the collision or your injuries. Treatment concerns can only be discussed with a doctor or an attorney, and on-the-scene information on the accident can be reported to the authorities.
As mentioned earlier, insurance companies will try all they can to trivialize your losses. When it does come to a point where you have to take things to court, the defendant's lawyers will research you—including your social media profiles. Don't give them any fuel to twist and reinterpret to try to minimize your injuries.
To avoid making a mistake, consult a knowledgeable California Car Accident Attorney before signing or saying anything.
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